Magazine article Variety

All Kinds Brew in Debut Stew

Magazine article Variety

All Kinds Brew in Debut Stew

Article excerpt

If the BAFTA jury set out to pinpoint the sheer diversity of new Brit talent, it couldn't have done a better job with this year's choice of nominees for debut by a British writer, director or producer.

From a Hollywood kids' musical to a low-budget movie shot clandestinely in Iran, two contrasting documentaries and the directing debut of a former child star, the nominated films prove that British cinema is a very broad church indeed.

Tina Gharavi was unknown to the U.K. film industry before her nomination as writer-director of "I Am Nasrine," a drama about an Iranian woman who escapes from Tehran to I Inbleak city of Newcastle in northeast England.

Gharavi's own family left Iran during the 1979 revolution, when she was 6. She lived in the U.K., the U.S., France and New Zealand before settling back in Newcastle, where she nins her own production company Bridge and Tunnel and lectures in digital media at Newcastle U.

She secretly shot the Iranian sections of "I Am Nasrine" by pretending to be a second-unit crew from another feature, which has an ironic echo of "Argo" - a film she dismisses for its inaccurate representation of her native country. The finished film premiered at the tiny Berwick festival and had only been screened a few times in her local area before her BAFTA nod flung her into the industry spotlight.

At the other end of the spectrum, James Bobin wrote for Sacha Baron Cohen and co-created "Flight of the Conchords" before being offered his feature directing debut with "The Muppets." His deft comedie touch matched Jason Segel's affectionate vision, and he's signed up for the sequel. …

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